MLB Should Learn From The NHL

Your eyes do not deceive you, this is a baseball article on a Thursday. Furthermore you have the guy who knows just as much about the various in’s and out’s of baseball as he does the Spanish language. Now, for those who didn’t know, I spotted a stomach churning 64 average in Spanish my sophomore year of high school.

What I do know is that Madison Bumgarner is massive on the mound. Imagine the intimidation factor he holds over you as soon as you step into the batters box. Since entering the MLB, Madison has won three World Series titles as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Holding a career ERA of 2.95 and 1,237 strikeouts, two extremely impressive personal accomplishments.

Okay, so as the adage goes, pitcher aren’t very good batters. I’m sure there have been prolific batters who happen to double as pitchers but to my knowledge, they’re few and far between. The glory behind the National League as a pose to the American League is that the pitchers must be in the lineup. Love it, or hate it, that’s baseball baby.

Right around the corner is the cherished American event, the home run derby. Heralded as baseball’s most exciting evening, next to the World Series. The casual fan can indulge in the sports claim to fame, the home run as Chris Berman blasts your eardrums with his gargling and numerous other bodily noises that make us all uncomfortable.

Cool, great, grand! However, someone wants to walk against the tide. It just so happens to be Mr. Bumgarner.

One thing I know about professional athletes is this. They wouldn’t want to do it if they honestly believed they couldn’t produce. In his career, Bumgarner has hit 13 homeruns, a feat in which Baltimore Orioles centerfielder, Adam Jones eclipsed in a single season last night against the Red Sox. Not entirely impressive for Madison, but what is impressive is that two of those diamond trotters have come this season.

Madison is truly a mammoth, the dude is six and a half feet tall. He should be able to hit a home run with that frame.

Baseball has been grappling with the speed of the game and overall fan interest issue for a couple of seasons now. In my opinion, they have fixed a significant portion of those issues and continue to blaze forward in their approach, bravo.

Even the home run derby seems a bit watered down. I personally think it could use some energy. Being the money hungry industry that baseball is, I’m more than confident they would welcome Madison with open arms.

Bruce Bochy, his manager thinks otherwise. He fears Madison would wear himself out after the first round, nobody wants to be the guy who doesn’t hit a single dinger. But by his tone, it doesn’t suggest he is entirely against the idea either.

People, lets make this happen! The guys a natural!

You didn’t honestly think you would get this far without hockey did you?

Hockey and America in most instances go together like peanut butter and mayonnaise. Differing by your geographical location, of course.

In the years leading up to this past years NHL All-Star festivities, fans were begging for something new and refreshing. Well, they got it.

When you hand starving fans the ability to vote for who they believe should be there, you can get some unique characters. Notorious goon, plug, bender and grocery stick John Scott was voted into the NHL All-Star game.

5 goals and 6 assists in 286 career games, Scott has not made a living by his offensive prowess, but with his fists instead. When the NHL caught wind that he had been voted on as a member of the Pacific Division for the All-Star game, they seemingly did everything possible to not make it happen. In fact, a trade between Arizona and Montreal was put together under the circumstances that removing Scott from his division would be enough to cancel his inclusion. Luckily, it wasn’t.

After weeks of behind closed doors, the NHL waved the white flag and allowed Scott to take part in the games. Scott relished in the opportunity by scoring twice and helping his team win the 3 on 3 tournament. Also, he won tournament MVP. In the end, it was looked at as the most successful All-Star game in history, a moment Scott, his family, and the fans will never forget.

So, what can the MLB take away from this situation? Well, for one, a little spice is never a bad addition to a plain piece of meat. Madison is a bonafide Hall of Famer, while Scott will be lucky to play in the NHL again. Imagine the fan fare and memorabilia you could sell if he does in fact take part in the Derby.

Madison wants in and it’s doubtful his fellow participants wouldn’t treat him like an equal. Just like the welcome Scott received back in January. This will probably be the first and last time the MLB takes a page out of the NHL’s book, but it’s for good measure.

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